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Old 04-08-2009, 08:54 PM
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Location: Pittsburgh
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Default Do you need a hood for a wood fired oven

I'm considering starting a bakery cafe and using a forno bravo wood fired oven or building a brick oven. I know that it will come down to what the local building code says, but I'm wondering if anyone has experience with this elsewhere.

Most of the local wood fired pizza joints have their ovens vented with a chimney of some sort, but no additional hood (ansul or otherwise).

Any thoughts?
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Old 04-19-2009, 11:27 AM
devilmaster's Avatar
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Location: Windsor, Ontario, Canada
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Default Re: Do you need a hood for a wood fired oven

Naturally will come down to your specific building/fire code, but as the manager of a wood fired pizzeria thats been around 19-20 years, the one thing to expect is that no inspector will probably be completely familiar with the code and how it relates to your wood fired oven.

We routinely have inspectors come in to compare our setup whenever a new business is installing something similar.

What this all means is, you need to know the rules better than anyone. Some cities may require a complete commercial vent hood with fire suppression system, possibly making a new oven a complete waste of money. The other part of that is that each inspector sees his/her own thing. Our place had one fire inspector completely focus on exit signs and emerg lights, and when the next one came in, all he saw was that we stored wood under a set of stairs near the front door and that was no longer kosher because combustibles by an exit.

You will save yourself alot of headaches and bashin your head against the wall if you know the rules better than them. Plus the benefit is that if they see you know the rules well, they may hassle you less.

good luck with your setup...
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Old 04-19-2009, 01:53 PM
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Default Re: Do you need a hood for a wood fired oven

Thanks for the input Devilmaster. That's very helpful -- particularly the part about how each inspector is different.

You definitely do not need a hood for a Forno Bravo oven. Both our Modena and Ristorante commercial ovens are UL Listed using an HT103 double walls chimney system connected directly to the oven vent.

Good luck with your venture.
James
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Old 04-19-2009, 04:07 PM
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Location: Gilbert, AZ
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Default Re: Do you need a hood for a wood fired oven

There have been some really great recent discussions on the Bread Bakers' Guild mailing list about these kinds of issues. A guy is building an oven in a bakery, and the inspector told him he needed a $12k fancy filtering hood system, but the the bakers in the BBG were quickly able to figure out the inspector was looking at the a misprint in the code that had been corrected three years earlier.

They have a tremendous wealth of knowledge, not only about baking, but also creating and running commercial baking operations, dealing with inspectors and codes, etc. Many of them use wood-fired ovens. If you're seriously considering starting a business with a WFO, I'd definitely pay the small annual fee for a BBG membership and access to that wealth of information.
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Old 04-19-2009, 06:44 PM
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Default Re: Do you need a hood for a wood fired oven

Thanks for all the advice. It is very much appreciated.
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